Public health surveillance is the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, interpretation,
and dissemination of data about a health-related event. It is used in public
health action to reduce morbidity and mortality and to improve health.
Enhanced surveillance refers to surveillance activities conducted for the purpose of
early detection of public health emergencies using non-traditional data sources
Syndromic surveillance (or biosurveillance), is one example of
enhanced surveillance. It offers the potential for earlier detection of
bioterrorism, outbreaks, and other public health emergencies. This type of
surveillance uses electronic records of case definitions based on signs and symptoms a patient presents with in a hospital. These records are provided by hospital emergency rooms,
pharmacies, poison control centers, schools, and more.
Epidemiologists in the Office of Preparedness and Response review
disease activity for evidence of unusual cases or clusters; investigate
natural, intentional, or simulated outbreaks; and respond to natural disasters,
weather-related threats, and any other public health emergencies.
Goal: Mitigate and/or reduce
morbidity and mortality associated with disease outbreak(s) and/or other public
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